After reading ‘Blogs as Virtual Communities’, I agree that the psychological sense of community (and all it entails, eg, belonging, identifying, influence, support, emotional connection) is more important than the idea of a virtual settlement. And I agree that there are many definitions of community and they can be stretched to either prove or disprove blogs as virtual communities (as proven in article). Ultimately, scholarship seems to be in its infant stage on blogs, and I say we don’t hold too tightly to any conclusions like certain individual blogs not being settlements or self-sustaining.
The ‘Women and Children Last’ essay proves that blogs are a part of our patriarchal, hierarchical community as a whole.
In the other readings, I found the emphasis on writing the most interesting. How Rebecca Blood states that bloggers must confront their thoughts and opinions everyday and in so doing will become more confidant writers; they will be more able to articulate themselves. And in the ‘New kids on the blog’ article, it opens with how “the blogging phenomenon produced some of today’s most innovative and engaging writing.”
I don’t know if it’s necessarily true, but I don’t like the ‘one common theme’ of blogs stated in the New Kids, article: that they are all about the blogger’s ego. And can be described as “the most banal wash-up of aimless lives” by more original bloggers. I think people who don’t blog (myself included) have that sense about bloggers, but the blogging spectrum is better explained by Mena Trott. That is, at the two ends are the pundits and diarists, in the middle are the egoists.
As far as all the emphasis on individualism and egoism, I think the most revealing comment was Tony Pierce’s rule: “dont be afraid if you think something has been said before. it has. and better. big whoop. say it anyway using your own words as honestly as you can. just let it out.” Proving that our words and thoughts should not be thought to be as individual as most of us think (we owe most of them to our communities), but after first realizing this, our words and thoughts should be cultivated and articulated as honestly as possible. And blogs seem to be as good of a place to do this as any.
My favorite quote from the readings: Tony Pierce’s “linking is what separates bloggers from apes.”
My favorite concept from the readings: seizing the media from corporations and the state and giving it to the public, as stated on deoxy.org